Company Blog

Spring Cleaning Should Include Your Dryer Vent

Dryer lint clogs the dryer venting with flammable material, causing roughly 17,000 house fires every year. In fact, clogged dryer vents cause more house fires every year than chimney fires do!

Dryer lint is extremely flammable. In fact, campers often take
dryer lint with them to provide a ready material to start a campfire.mother and child doing laundry

Unfortunately, the lint trap on your dryer doesn’t catch all the lint produced by your dryer and a fair amount of this flammable debris makes its way into the dryer vent.  A heating element can produce a stray spark, catching the dryer, its venting system, and nearby walls on fire.

THE FIRST SIGN OF A CLOGGED DRYER VENT is when you notice that clothes aren’t getting dry in one cycle. When there is a buildup of lint in the dryer or its venting system it’s harder to remove the moisture from your clothes. A clothes dryer uses more energy – at about 3000 watts/hour – than most any other appliance in an average home. (For comparison, a ceiling fan uses 10-120 watts, a microwave oven uses about 1200 watts and an electric heater 1500 watts per hour.) So when your clothes take double the time to dry, that’s a lot of wasted energy dollars.

Please call us immediately to inspect and clean your dryer and it’s venting if clothes aren’t getting dry.

Electric Clothes Dryers vs Gas Clothes Dryers


Both types of dryers help carry away lint and moisture, but a gas dryer also produces dangerous fumes – including carbon monoxide – that must be safely vented to the outdoors.

Flexible dryer vent pipe makes installation easier, but it provides an uneven surface for lint to accumulate to cause clogged areas and potential fires.  A smooth rigid metal venting system – using the straightest run possible – is recommended as the best system to vent your clothes dryer. We will always recommend that plastic or vinyl venting be replaced; the material degrades quickly, and simply cannot stand up to the tiniest of sparks. We also will advise replacement to a smooth metal dryer vent system in installations with flexible metal pipes, and we can perform this job for you too.

Dryer Safety Tips12

  • Clean the lint trap on your dryer after each load
  • Do not overload your clothes dryer; this can damage the drum belt, bearings and can cause pulleys to be overworked and produce higher drying temperatures and extra friction that can spark and cause a fire
  • Move your dryer out from the wall at least every 3 months and vacuum under and behind it
  • Clean the outside exhaust regularly
  • Do not store flammable products, such as cleaning products, in the vicinity of your clothes dryer
  • Use caution when drying items with rubber – such as padded bras, bath mats and baby bibs – that should not be exposed to high heat and therefore are a potential fire hazard
  • Clothing and textiles that have been stained with volatile chemicals may not come clean in the washer, so opt to air dry these items to prevent exposure to the high temperatures found in your dryer
  • Don’t operate your clothes dryer while you’re gone from home or sleeping.
  • Keep an eye out for overheating. If the top of the dryer is hot to the touch, or clothes are hot at removal, or if your dryer cuts off unexpectedly as this can indicate a defective appliance or a venting issue

For more information about dryer vent safey, visit CSIA.org

Shopping for a new home? Can we talk?

Let’s talk about the chimney and fireplace!  Just how important is it to know the ins and outs of these parts of your potential new home BEFORE you close?  

The short answer is….it depends.  It depends on whether you really want to use the fireplace and chimney or not.  If having a fireplace that works is a deal-breaker, then you absolutely do want to get the chimney inspected by someone familiar with Level 2 Inspection process as outlined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).  Most CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps have access to this training.  When asking about the certification, be sure to specifically ask if the technician providing your service is trained in performing a Level 2 Inspection AND reporting the results to you clearly.  

Buying a new home, talk with us

Level 2 Inspection can identify hidden flaws and potential costly repairs.  Statistics show that almost half of home buyers say they would spend extra money on a house with a fireplace.  That being the case, for those folks, it is very important to have a thorough, well-documented inspection to insure that the fireplace is well-maintained and functional.  

What can make a chimney/fireplace not functional?  Here are a few examples.

  • The inside of chimney has sustained damage from an unfriendly fire event (i.e. a previous chimney fire).  Repairs for this scenario can cost as much as $5k-$8K, depending on details. (Clue: missing damper plate can indicate prior wood stove insert installation.  Wood stove inserts when not properly installed or maintained can increase the chances of chimney fires.)
  • The flue may be undersized for the fireplace opening; or the chimney may not be tall enough causing performance (smokeback) issues.  These are construction flaws and a resolution could cost $3k-$5K. (Clue: staining over the face of the fireplace opening)
  • Some prefabricated manufactured fireplaces have serious deterioration due to age.  At times replacement parts are no longer available. This normally necessitates a system replacement if the system is not viable.  Replacement costs of this nature can cost as much as $5k-$9K depending on details. (Clue: excessive rust in firebox, damper area or on chase cover)

This is by no means a comprehensive listing of all the things that can make a chimney/fireplace system nonfunctional.  Because, as a buyer, you want to know as much as possible about the house you are considering for your new home, you may want to bring in your own chimney professional in addition to the normal home inspector for an in depth review of your fireplace and chimney – with your intended usage (i.e. woodburning or gas appliance) in mind.  

After a complete Level 2 Inspection is performed, Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps|Bless Your Hearth‘s trusted chimney professionals will provide a comprehensive report outlining options for how the chimney/fireplace system can be utilized (or not), documentation pictures, and recommendations for resolving any issues found.  Let us help enrich your home hearth experience.